Dear Saints of Emmanuel Church,
I am excited to meet you on Sunday October 1, 2017, and I have been praying for you each and every day.
Our ministry together will begin, per my desire, with my sitting in a pew as a first time visitor to worship at Emmanuel. Per my request, your current priests will celebrate the Eucharist and preach at both Sunday services on October 1, and I won’t have any official responsibilities during worship.
Then on the following Sunday, October 8, I will preach and celebrate at both services.
As a newcomer, I hope to look, listen, learn, and absorb as much as possible about your worship. I want to adapt to who you are and adopt your traditions, structure, and tone as quickly as I can.
Truly, I am adopting the motto: “When in Emmanuel Church, Baltimore, do as the Emmanuelites do.” Having lived around the world, I have some experience in merging into new communities, which is both an exciting and a challenging opportunity. I hope to celebrate and respect who you have been, who you are, and who you hope to become.
I truly love serving and leading in the parish. I truly love helping parishioners be the best saints God has created you to be. Parish ministry is a joyful and fun adventure, full of complexity and occasional conflict, as all communities are--and yet also pregnant with so much life and hope.
As you all know, life in today’s climate can be quite miserable and hopeless. And, it’s because of the suffering of the world, that the courage, strength, and witness to love and justice of Emmanuel Church are all the more critical.
As we establish bonds of respect, trust, and even Christian affection, the power of the Holy Spirit in our midst will multiply. Together with God, we can be ambassadors of peace and love for each other. Together with God, we can be a community of creative, passionate, compassionate, and resilient leaders and servants. Together with God, we can make our world a better place.
Saints of Emmanuel Church, yes, you’ve had along journey. That journey has wounded and frustrated you, and I know it has made you eager for stability, peace, and a fresh, new beginning. I can’t promise you miracles, but I will try my best to be the priest and rector, the inspirer and the healer, you need me to be.
Please remember: God does love you very much. And, with God anything and everything Good is possible for Emmanuel Church, for Baltimore, and for our nation and our world.
May God help you breathe and relax. May God sustain you with the knowledge that your name itself is powerful. Emmanuel- God is with us. Emmanuel- God is with you.
Please pray for our children: 23 year old, Lucas, just graduated from Williams College, who is teaching in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and 20 year old Sophia, a University of Denver junior, who is in Patagonia, Argentina, and Costa Rica for a semester of adventures.
Please pray for my wife Sara and me as we relocate to our new home,
10 Light Street, Apt. 1710, Baltimore, MD
Know that I hold you in the light.
With joyful anticipation and with my prayers for all of you,